CCMA Political greenBrief
Monday, July 2, 2018
“Prices will shoot through the roof if there’s a shortage. People have already been riding a roller coaster, seeing prices escalate, then bottom out, followed by flash sales, or taxes they didn’t expect. I’m optimistic that things will get better. But there’s a lot of problems to work through first.”
Pamela Epstein, Chief Executive Of Green Wise Consulting, On California’s New State-Imposed Cannabis Standards
“McConnell’s omission of CBD is not a denial of it. It’s simply a tactical political move. He’s trying to help potential supporters avoid criticism in places where opposition to marijuana might be misconstrued and then undermine support for hemp.”
Carl Cameron, Chief Communication Officer For New Frontier Data, On Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2018 Farm Bill
Why (And How) California Is Destroying Mountains Of Weed (CA – State Regulations)
Wired (July 2, 2018) Call it the California Marijuanapocalypse of 2018. As of January 1, recreation cannabis has been legal in the state. A black market still runs underneath it all (Northern California alone supplies perhaps 75 percent of all marijuana across the United States), but cultivators and distributors are going legit, bringing themselves up to the rigorous testing and packaging standards mandated by the state. For the first six months of the year, the state has allowed dispensaries to sell product that isn’t yet up to new code so manufacturers can adjust to the changes. By one estimate, that could total $350 million in lost product.
Pot Businesses Urge California To Delay Strict Testing Rules (CA – State Regulation)
Star Tribune (June 29, 2018) Nearly 150 marijuana businesses in California warned Friday that they could face crippling financial losses unless the state extends a July 1 deadline imposing strict standards for pot testing and packaging. In a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, the United Cannabis Business Association said the changes would further unsettle the struggling legal marketplace that launched Jan. 1, potentially forcing businesses to close their doors.
Up In Smoke: New California Law Could Send $350m Worth Of Cannabis To Incinerator (CA – Cannabis Products)
The Guardian (June 29, 2018) About $350m worth of cannabis products could be destroyed as new regulations take effect on Sunday in California. New rules stipulate that all cannabis products must be sold in child-resistant packaging, and must be lab-tested for potency and a variety of contaminants. Additionally, edibles will be limited to 100mg of THC per package, divided into 10mg servings. The long-anticipated switch has prompted California dispensaries to sell non-compliant products at steep discounts.
Legal Weed: No Lazy Summer for California Lawmakers, Who Debated 24 Bills (CA – Cannabis Legislation)
Marijuana.com (June 29, 2018) After a week filled to the brim with committee readings, California legislators passed bills in committees that would allow for temporary event licensing, would ban veterinarians from administering marijuana to animals, and would assist socioeconomically disadvantaged groups under a proposed licensing equity framework. Two dozen bills were considered in Sacramento for the week ending Friday, June 29, 2018. We’ve broken down the status of each bill and what steps are to follow.
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Fear Of High Prices, Testing Delays Kill The Buzz In California 6 Months After Marijuana Was Legalized (CA – State Regulations)
The Virginian Pilot (July 2, 2018) Six months after recreational marijuana became legal in California, consumers and the cannabis industry are complaining about steep prices, high taxes and a scarcity of licensed shops. And although they’ve known about the deadline for months, many marijuana companies have been slow to submit their products to laboratories to see whether they meet state-imposed quality standards that went into effect Sunday.
Analysts Slash Forecast On California Cannabis Market As Slow Licensing Takes Toll (CA – Cannabis Market)
The Cannafornian (June 29, 2018) New state rules are killing the buzz on California’s cannabis sales. Legal pot that was once expected to generate $3.7 billion in revenue this year now is forecast to total just $2.9 billion, Greg Shoenfeld, vice president for operations at BDS Analytics, said by phone Wednesday, previewing a report the research firm plans to issue later this week. BDS had previously cut its forecast to $3.5 billion. The regulations give local governments greater discretion on whether to let marijuana firms operate in their locale, and about 70 percent have opted to ban cannabis businesses, said Alex Traverso, spokesman for the state Bureau of Cannabis Control.
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San Diego Police Chief’s Bogus Number Ties Cannabis to Crime (CA – Cannabis Crime)
Reason (June 28, 2018) The 2016 ballot initiative that legalized marijuana in California let local governments decide whether such businesses are magnets for crime has figured prominently in those decisions. Last September, for instance, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman warned the city council that the “negative consequences and secondary effects” of tolerating recreational cannabusinesses would be “enormous.” To back up that claim, Zimmerman said medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego had generated 272 police calls related to “burglaries, robberies, thefts, assaults and shootings, just to name a few,” in less than three years.
Major Marijuana Hauls Confirm Enforcement Efforts (CA – Local Ordinances)
Mountain News (June 28, 2018) The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department announced that its Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California’s cannabis laws, as well as the San Bernardino County ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution. According to a department press release, persons found guilty of violating the state law and the county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution and seizure of property.
Mitch McConnell: Drug Warrior, CBD Champion? (USA – Cannabis Industry)
Rolling Stone (June 29, 2018) The Senate passed a version of the 2018 Farm Bill that would legalize so-called “industrial hemp” – legislation that has long been a pet project of one of the most powerful men in America, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). His office immediately issued a self-congratulatory press release about the sanctity of the American farmer and the enormous economic opportunity that will soon be available to former tobacco growers in his home state of Kentucky.
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Marijuana Legislation Is Federalism In Action (USA – Cannabis Legislation)
The Weekly Standard (July 2, 2018) The decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January 2018 to rescind an Obama-era marijuana policy that allowed states to move forward with legalization has pushed federal lawmakers to find a legislative solution that embraces an important constitutional principle. The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act introduced on June 7 by Sens. Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren would require the federal government to respect the decisions of states on marijuana legalization.
Here’s What’s Next Now That The FDA Has Approved A Cannabis Drug For Seizures (USA – Rescheduling Cannabis)
The Verge (June 29, 2018) The US Food and Drug Administration approved the first cannabis-derived drug this week, but it can’t be sold until the Drug Enforcement Administration changes how it classifies the specific compound used. So what’s next? It is likely that the DEA will reclassify CBD in the next 90 days, says Stephanie Yip, an analyst at Informa Pharma Intelligence. The reclassification will likely make medical cannabis more legitimate.
Marijuana For Your Health: Understand The Chemical Compounds In Cannabis (USA – Cannabis Education)
Las Vegas Sun (June 29, 2018) Tony Candelaria, a budtender at the Exhale Nevada marijuana dispensary, spent his early career educating people about nutrition and fitness as a personal trainer and smoothie vendor in Los Angeles. He began working in California’s marijuana industry in 2016 before he moved to Las Vegas, where state law requires the chemical properties of the plant to be listed for buyers. Dispelling common misconceptions about weed’s chemical properties and effects is often the team’s biggest challenge, he said.
Texas And New Hampshire Democrats Add Recreational Legalization To Their Official Platforms (USA – State Legalization)
Herb (June 29, 2018) Democrats in Texas and New Hampshire voted to add the legalization of marijuana to their party platforms at their recent conventions ahead of the midterm elections this fall. The Texas platform offered a wider range of policy recommendations including the regulation of cannabis like alcohol and tobacco as well as the expungement of criminal records for low-level cannabis crimes. New Hampshire’s new platform was passed by acclamation, meaning it did not require a vote to pass, while in Texas the entire platform passed by a voice vote. Democrats in both states supported alternative approaches to drug policy which shift the focus away from law enforcement.
Bills For Medical, Personal Use Marijuana Held In Committee (NC – State Legalization)
The News Herald (June 29, 2018) North Carolina is one of 20 states in the nation that hasn’t legalized either the medical or recreational use of marijuana. For years, bills to legalize medical marijuana in the state have been introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly, only to die in a committee. This year is no different. A bill has been filed in the state legislature to legalize the medical use of cannabis. One also has been filed to decriminalize the use of a small amount of it.
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Residents Of This Red State Just Voted To Legalize Medical Marijuana (OK – State Legalization)
Yahoo Finance (July 1, 2018) Back in 1995, not a single state in the U.S. nor either of its neighbors, Canada or Mexico, had legalized marijuana in any capacity. Within the U.S., the war on drugs was still in full swing, with a Gallup survey that year showing support for legalizing weed at a meager 25%. Despite traditionally being a red state — Republicans tend to have a mixed or negative view on marijuana, according to multiple polls – residents in Oklahoma overwhelmingly approved Question 788, with 891,654 votes cast, and 56.8% in favor of the measure to legalize medical marijuana.